Consciousness Laboratory

Rock and branchThe Naropa University Consciousness Laboratory is a training and research facility that fosters a contemplative approach to psychological science. Our mission is to gain greater understanding of human capacities for engaging with awareness, conceptions of experience, and related teaching and learning processes; to contribute new methods for accessing the depth and variety of conscious experience; and to train students at both graduate and undergraduate levels. We aim to conduct research with inquisitiveness, compassion, and a balance of precision and practicality.

We explore functions of awareness that have not been adequately addressed within psychological science along two complementary avenues of investigation. Our Meditation and Contemplative Spirituality Research Program brings to light mindfulness and awareness skills that can be learned. In contrast, our Synesthesia Research Program focuses on an unusual sensory experience that may depend on genetic endowment, and is familiar to only a minority of people. Taken together, these two research programs involve psychological inquiry into awareness, perception, imagery, attention, emotion, and more.

In drawing knowledge and insight from both cognitive neuroscience and contemplative traditions such as Buddhist meditation, the Consciousness Lab provides a unique synergy between modern psychological science and ancient contemplative approaches to understanding mind and spirit.

Cognitive and Affective Science Lab (CASL)

The Cognitive and Affective Science Lab (CASL) at Naropa University conducts psychology and neuroscience research on meditation, emotion regulation, and social life. Using a variety of cutting-edge research methods, from neuroscientific measures to smartphone-based surveys, CASL provides unique research and training opportunities to Naropa students and community members. As part of Naropa’s contemplative learning community, CASL takes a contemplative approach to the research process itself, leveraging research activities to promote self-awareness, personal growth, and contemplative development. Accordingly, CASL members train in skills that may support a variety of career paths, cultivating hybridized skillsets needed for the next generation of contemplative science and its application throughout society.

With an aim to advance the science of mental, emotional, and social well-being, CASL research directly interfaces with and contributes to fields of contemplative psychology and neuroscience. Our research aims to answer questions at the intersections of mind and brain; meditation and action; mindfulness and compassion; and self and other.

For more information about CASL, including opportunities to get involved, visit the CASL website: